10 Different Kinds of Magnesium and What They Do

10 Different Kinds of Magnesium and What They Do

Magnesium gets a lot of press about its importance, and it’s true. Magnesium is a critical mineral and participates in about 300 different bodily functions. But did you know that there were different kinds of magnesium? Before you head to the store for a supplement, make sure you are getting the one to support YOUR body’s needs:


1. Magnesium Citrate: one of the most common forms found in most citrus fruits and gives it the tart flavor. Acts as a laxative so can be used for constipation


2. Magnesium Oxide: It is a white powdery form of magnesium and oxygen. It may not be well absorbed but can be used for digestive issues like heartburn, mild consitpation, and migraines


3. Magnesium Chloride: a salt that is very well absorbed in digestive tract, often used in baths.


4. Magnesium Lactate: Wonderful for leg cramps and menstrual relief


5. Magnesium Malate: helps to calm the nervous system, so is a good form for anxiety, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome


6. Magnesium Taurate: helps to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure


7. Magnesium Sulfate: aka Epsom salt, used in baths to relieve muscle soreness


8. Magnesium L-Threonate: new studies promising help for depression and Alzheimer


9. Magesium Glycerinate: sleep aid, calming properties, treats inflammation


10. Magnesium Orotate: Used to treat heart disease and energy production within cells


Foods highest in magnesium: spinach, squash, pumpkin seeds, tuna, brown rice, almonds. lima beans , avocado, bananas, and dark chocolate

Top 10 Ideas to get kids involved in preparing dinner and eating it too!

Top 10 Ideas to get kids involved in preparing dinner and eating it too!

1. Dinner Options

Present two dinner options, and have your kids choose between them. To step it up a notch, give them a list of salads, sides and main courses, and ask them to decide the menu.

2. Shop together

Whenever possible, ask your kids to join you on a trip to the grocery store or farmer’s market. This gives kids the opportunity to explore different foods, and even talk with the people who made them!

3. Mystery foods

Try exploring mystery foods. I love this one! At the store, ask your child to pick a fruit or vegetable he or she has never seen before. Before you leave the store, be sure to find the name of it so you can look it up when you get home.

4.  Help with the cooking

Invite your child to help cook, at whatever skill level is appropriate to her. Kids can stir a pot, crumble the cheese, set the timer, measure ingredients, pick leafy green vegetables off their stems (kale, basil), push the button on the blender, crack eggs, whisk, chop or saute!

5. Clean-up crew

Be part of the cooking clean-up crew. Maybe the actual cooking doesn’t interest them but they like to clean or organize to keep all on tract and tidy.

6. Creat fun videos

Create a family dinner reel or imovie. Kids and teens alike love creating movies so do one about your family dinner!

7. Play restaurant

Whether they cooked the meal or not, have your kids serve each course as if they were waiters at a fancy restaurant. You might want to lay down a nice table cloth and light some candles to create a fun atmosphere.

8.  Dinner rituals

Create a weekly dinner ritual. For example, maybe every Sunday, your kids’ friends are invited to dinner or to dessert. Sundaes, anyone?

9. Watch cooking shows together

Cooking shows or competitions can do wonders for getting kids interested in making meals. Try watching an exciting cooking show with your children, and see if it inspires them to join you in the kitchen!

10. Music they love

Ask your teen to choose music for dinner. This will also give you something to talk about.

What makes a food allergy?

What makes a food allergy?

What is a food allergy exactly? How do I know if it’s an allergy or an intolerance?

These are questions many Americans ask themselves daily. Believe it or not, anyone can have an allergic reaction to anything at anytime. Crazy, huh? That is why it is imperative that everyone understands what a food allergy is and is not.


A food allergy is when the body’s immune system negatively responds to a food every time you eat it. Some reactions are uncomfortable or unsightly, but many can be dangerous and even potentially life threatening. The reaction occurs immediately upon being exposed to the food. A food intolerance occurs within hours of consuming the food and is generally a digestive response only.

The most common food allergies

Currently the most common food allergies are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, wheat and sesame with milk at the top of the list as an allergy and intolerance. Milk/dairy is so prevalent in our food supply it’s hard to avoid but, if you have an allergy, avoidance is key.


When someone has a dairy allergy for example and they ingest milk it is as if the body immediately goes to war. Even trace amounts of dairy or any allergen can trigger an allergic reaction. Reactions can include symptoms such as hives, wheezing, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, confusion and much more. Anaphylaxis, the most serious type of an allergic reaction, generally involves multiple organs and comes about fast and furious. What makes anaphylaxis so frightening is it often affects the persons’ breathing or blood circulation, both of which could have life threatening consequences.


Food intolerance

On the other hand, one may have a food intolerance to dairy if they only experience unpleasant GI symptoms such as gas, bloating, nausea, reflux, etc after consuming it. Unlike an allergy, an intolerance is often correlated to dosage of the food. Many people who have a dairy intolerance can handle a small amount of dairy and be unaffected; however, if they consume significant amounts of the food they will begin to feel unwell.


While some people may use food intolerance and food allergy interchangeably you can see the two diagnoses are actually quite different. If you have experienced an allergic reaction; a distressing, immediate, immune system response, similar to as previously stated you should seek out an allergist to determine if you have a true food allergy. If your symptoms involve only the GI tract then seeing an allergist is not necessary. Instead try eliminating the food from your diet for 2-4 weeks and track your symptoms. Once that timeframe is complete, reintroduce the food and compare how you feel against when the food was eliminated from your diet. This clinical information will inform your diagnosis.


Ultimately only an Allergist can diagnose a food allergy based on your clinical history and testing.

Chocolate Caramel Bar Recipe

Chocolate Caramel Bar Recipe


Chocolate Caramel Bar Recipe

Preheat oven to 375°

Start with the Brown Sugar dough:  


  • 1/2 cup of butter flavored Coconut Oil or shortening
  • 2 cups of flour- rice, cassava or regular
  • 1 1/4 cups of brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of arrowroot starch
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 3 tbs of milk alt

Combine all in a food processor. 

Place dough in a 9-inch square cake pan. Press dough evenly into the pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Caramel layer: 

  • 1/4 cup of butter flavored Coconut Oil or shortening
  • 1 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
  • 4 tsp of milk alt

Combine all ingredients into a saucepan and cook on low heat. 

Pour mixture over the cookie bottom. Let cool.

  • 1 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
  • 2tsps of butter-flavored Coconut Oil or shortening

In a microwave-safe bowl melt the chocolate.  
Add shortening and stir until melted and smooth. 

Pour over cooled bars. 


With the increasing numbers of children dealing with food allergies, I have found it important to build a community of other parents dealing with similar challenges. To read my husband and my story, CLICK HERE.

To learn more about KIDS WITH FOOD ALLERGIES – A Divison of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, CLICK HERE.

Food Allergies: Impact on Social Life

Food Allergies: Impact on Social Life

Do Food allergies have considerable impact on parents’ social lives?

Up until recently I would have said that my son’s Food Allergies don’t actually affect my social life.  His social life yes, and some things we do as a family, but not my social life.  I now have a new perspective.

Just last month my son, Gavin, and I went with our closest friends (my friends and their sons whom Gavin has known his whole life) out to dinner in celebration of the boys impending birthdays.  While the company was fantastic the food situation was not.

The restaurant management pretended to “know” food allergies and how to manage for them in their steakhouse meanwhile they suggested multiple food options to my son that contained eggs or was fish/shellfish. Our server was even worse.  He was clueless about the food ingredients and appeared to care even less about discussing safe alternatives for Gavin.

While that was extremely frustrating and frankly appalling, I have come to expect minimal support from restaurants when it comes to food allergy safety. Albeit I would have hoped an upscale steakhouse in downtown Chicago could have done better.

The toughest part though was all the scrumptious, unsafe food that was ordered, discussed and savored by our friends.   Now don’t get me wrong they were not insensitive at all, rather very sensitive, but they weren’t going to limit the pipping hot bread, oysters, and truffled Mac and cheese from their kids at this celebratory dinner and nor should they.  So instead Gavin and I were off on our own food allergy island of steak and cooked carrots.

As we were sitting there I found myself regretting coming to dinner.  Gavin was visibly uncomfortable and the more uncomfortable he became the more anxious I became.  I wanted to swoop him up and take off for the nearest burger joint. Not only was he sitting at a table with multiple plates of  life-threatening food but he was watching his friends devour it.

To make matters worse it dawned on me that likely this will be Gavin’s life always. It is not likely that he will outgrow his fish, shellfish, sesame, nut and even egg allergy at this point. This thought literally brought tears to my eyes.  What I would give to take it away from him…and me.

I ran to the bathroom to gather myself.  Eventually I did as I didn’t want to ruin the night for Gavin or me.

I reframed the situation and decided our dinner was an excellent learning opportunity for the future—dinners I won’t be attending as his guide or “food buddy.”  Instead this evening was a taste of what eating out will look like for him in the future. Whether it is work dinners, dating or socializing with friends, our culture revolves around food. It is imperative that Gavin learns to be confident and comfortable in managing his food allergies while eating out.  He must know how to navigate various eating environments safely and hopefully… joyfully.

In the end, we had a nice evening, all were safe and we left with Gavin having a new appreciation for steak!


Five key steps to eating out safely with Food Allergies: 

  1. Vet the menu ahead of time
  2. Notify the restaurant staff that you will be dining there later and that when you arrive you would like to meet with the Manager to discuss your Food Allergies.
  3. Present the Manager and server with your Chef Card noting your food allergies.
  4. When ordering your food repeat your allergies to confirm your food selection is safe to eat.
  5. Once you receive your food, confirm with the server your menu item.

And ALWAYS bring your epinephrine!

With the increasing numbers of children dealing with food allergies, I have found it important to build a community of other parents dealing with similar challenges. To read my husband and my story, CLICK HERE.

To learn more about KIDS WITH FOOD ALLERGIES – A Divison of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, CLICK HERE.